Every parent is excited when they find out that their family is growing. My husband and I were thrilled to find out that we were expecting our third child. We began to make preparations for adding another person to our family and began to get our daughters used to the idea that a new baby was going to be in our home. As we approached our anatomy ultrasound, we planned a gender reveal with a few close friends to surprise our families with on Valentine’s Day.
On February 9, 2017, we went in for our anatomy ultrasound and our world was turned upside down. We were told our son, Emmanuel, had a fatal birth defect called Limb Body Wall Complex. We wouldn’t get to bring him home. He wouldn’t live outside the womb. We would be lucky to carry him to term. In a follow up ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis, Emmanuel yawned at us and waved to us…as if he knew we were watching.
We chose to continue to carry Emmanuel because we believe in a God that can heal every ill…..including birth defects that are death sentences. We also chose to give him as much of a life as we could knowing that he wouldn’t get a traditional life like our daughters. So, we made the baby bucket list. We took Emmanuel places that we would take our family and do the normal things that families do. We went to a bacon processing facility, the zoo, the aquarium, a baseball game, my alma mater, my husband’s alma mater, strawberry picking, the beach, on a spa day, and a wedding…..just to name a few.
We delivered Emmanuel ALIVE! on June 13, 2017. He lived for 73 minutes and was loved for a life time in those short 73 minutes.
Emmanuel is why we walk. We walk so that hopefully no other family will have to experience the heartbreak we have of losing a child. We walk so Emmanuel’s memory will stay alive. We walk so others will get what we will not.